Difference Between Culpable Homicide and Murders For Law Exams

Culpable homicide is dealt with under section 299 of the Indian Penal Code, whereas murder is dealt with in section 300. Between the two of them, there is a fine line of distinction. Because of the minor difference, this commonly

poses issues for advocates and legal practitioners in deciding where to lay the case.

Concept of Culpable Homicide and Murders has its significance in Law PG and Judiciary entrance exams.

In this article we have explained the Difference Between these two and related practice questions. 

So, if you are aspiring for any of these two exams, this article would be a holy grail for you. 

What is Homicide?

Before knowing the difference between Culpable Homicide and Murder, let's get an idea about the "Homicide" term.

Homicide refers to the killing of a human being and it is broadly classified into two types: Lawful Homicide (justified by law) and Unlawful Homicide (not justified by law). Both culpable homicide and murder fall under unlawful homicide.

All murders are culpable homicides but not all culpable homicides are murders. Let us understand the difference between these two offences from the post below to score well in the Upcoming Judiciary Exams.

What is the Difference Between Culpable Homicide and Murder?

Under section 299, the Culpable Homicide is defined as whoever causes death by doing an act 

  • with the intention of causing death, (or)
  • with the intention of causing bodily injury as is likely to cause death, (or)
  • with the knowledge of an act likely to cause death

Under section 300, murder is defined as whoever causes death by doing an act

  • with the intention of causing death (or)
  • causing bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of a person (or)
  • Intentionally causing a bodily injury which is sufficient to cause death (or)
  • With the knowledge that act done is sufficiently dangerous and in all probability cause death

Download FREE Study Material for CLAT 2022 by Legal Edge

Factual Difference Between Culpable Homicide and Murder

In Culpable Homicide, the intention and the probability of causing death are less whereas in Murder, the intention and the probability of causing death are high.

For example, A attacked B with a blunt knife, and similarly C attacked D with a sharp knife.

A used blunt knife to kill B: In this case, the probability of causing death is very low. This will fall under section 299 i.e. Culpable Homicide.

C used a sharp knife to kill D: In this case, the chance of causing death is high. Therefore, this offence will fall under section 300 i.e. murder.

The offender must have the intention of causing bodily harm which is likely to cause death. This kind of intention is called Culpable Homicide.

In murder, the offender must know that his actions will cause death or the bodily injury which is sufficient to cause death.

Read More: Short Tricks to Prepare for Judiciary Exams at Home

Exceptions where Culpable Homicide is not Considered as Murder

If the person is proved guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, then he can take any one of the following exceptions to fall under Culpable Homicide only.

  • Grave and Sudden Provocation
  • Right of private defense
  • Public servant acting in good faith
  • In Exercise of legal power
  • No premeditation in a sudden quarrel

Examples to Understand the Difference Between Culpable Homicide and Murder 

An offender named X used a sharp weapon on the vital part of the body of Y.  Also, the offender has the knowledge that his actions will cause death. Naturally, this injury is sufficient to cause the death of Y. This kind of death is called "Murder".

On the other hand, Y used a blunt weapon like a stick or stone to kill X. Injuries are caused in the strong part of the body and the probability of causing death is less. This kind of death is called Culpable Homicide.

Q) A under the influence of passion excited by a provocation given by Z intentionally kills Y who is a child of Z. The offence committed by A is:

A) Infanticide

B) Manslaughter

C) Culpable homicide amounting to murder

D) Culpable homicide not amounting to murder

Ans: C

Read: Upcoming Law Entrance Exams in India 2022 - Application Dates & Exam Pattern

Q). Culpable homicide is not murder if done under:

A) Intoxication
B) Sudden and grave provocation
C) Irresistible impulse
D) All of the above
Ans. B

Q) X knows Y is suffering from a particular disease in which he can die if given a simple blow. X causes a simple blow to Y with an intention to cause bodily injury. Y dies. X is guilty of:

A) Murder
B) Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
C) Grievous hurt
D) Simple hurt
Ans: A

Q) A appears as a witness before Z, a magistrate, Z says that he does not believe a word of A’s deposition and that A has perjured himself. A is moved to sudden passion by these words and kills Z. This is:

A) Grave and sudden provocation
B) Murder
C) Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
D) All the above
Ans: B

clat mock test

clat mock test

Q). The plea of sudden and grave provocation as an exception of murder is:

A). Question of law
B). Question of fact
C). Mixed question of law and fact
D). Presumption under law
Ans. B

Q). A snake charmer while showing his play claims to cure the snake bite. The deceased got himself a snake bite believing on assurance of the snake charmer. The snake charmer could​​ not​​ cure the deceased. The snake charmer is liable for:

A). Murder
B). Cheating
C). Culpable homicide not amounting murder
D). No offence
Ans. A

Q). ‘A’ intentionally causes B’s death partly by illegally omitting to give food and partly beating. A has committed the offence of:

A). Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
B). Murder
C). Grievous hurt
D). Hurt
Ans. B

Also Read: Career Options after Law in India :6 Irresistible Career Paths

Q). Intending to kill ‘A’ instead killed B whom he had no intention to kill. Under which doctrine is he liable?

A). Doctrine of transfer of malice
B). Doctrine of extended malice
C). Doctrine of mess
D). Doctrine of ​​ diminished responsibility
Ans. A

Q). ‘A’ intentionally fired a shot from his pistol at ‘B’ but it hit ‘C’ and ‘C’ died. The offence  committed  by ‘A’ is-
A).  Attempt to murder
B). Culpable homicide
C).  Murder under Section 300
D). Murder under Section 301
 Ans:-D

Q). Common intention means-
 A). Similar intention
B).  Same intention
C).  Sharing of intention by all persons
D).  Common plans
Ans:-C

Also Read: How to prepare for Law Entrance exams?

Q). In which of the following case the right of private defence of body does not extend to causing of death?
A). Assault with the intention of committing kidnapping
B).  Assault with the intention of gratifying unnatural lust
C). Wrongful restraint ‘
D). Assault with the intention of committing abduction

 Ans:-C

Q). The word ‘good faith’ is defined in the Indian Penal Code in—
A).  Section 44
B).  Section 51
C).  Section 52
D). Section 52-A
Ans:-C

Q). ‘A’ is cutting the wood with an axe at a place where children are playing ? The axe files off and kills a nearby child. ‘A’ is liable for—
A).  No offence
B). Murder
C).  Culpable homicide
D). Causing death by negligence
Ans:-D

Also Read: How to prepare Static GK for Law Entrance Exams?

Q). Insanity is—
A).  Lack of free will
B).  Incapacity produced due to drunkenness
C).  Incapable of knowing the nature of act committed
D). Diseased mind
Ans:-D

Q). Which one of the following is not essential for an offence?
A).  Intention
B).  Motive
C).  Prohibited act
D).  Punishment for act
Ans:-B

Q). The grounds for punishing Prince in R. V/s Prince was-
A).  Prohibited act done by Prince
B).  Illegal act done by Prince
C).  Knowingly committing of civil wrong by Prince
D).  Illegal and prohibited act done by Prince
Ans:-D

Also Read: Government Law Colleges in India

Q). Who amongst the following has observed that under the Indian Penal Code such a maxim ‘Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea’ is wholly out of place?
A).  J.D. Mayne, Criminal Law of India
B).  H.S. Gour, Penal Law of India
C). Ratan Lal Dheeraj Lal, Law of Crimes
D).  All of the above
Ans:-D

Q). In which of the following cases the Privy Council made a distinction between ‘common intention’ and ‘similar intention’?
A).  Barendra Kumar Ghosh V/s Emperor
B).  Mahboob Shah V/s King Emperor
C).  Srinivasmal Barolia V/s Emperor
C).  Bannu Mal V/s Emperor
Ans:-B

FAQ's

What are three types of Culpable Homicide?

There are three types of Culpable Homicide as follows:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Infanticide

What is the punishment of culpable homicide?

Whoever commits culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment upto ten years.

What is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a homicide that is referred as the unintentional killing of the person.

In what cases culpable homicide is not a murder?

  • Grave and Sudden Provocation
  • Right of private defense
  • Public servant acting in good faith
  • In Exercise of legal power
  • No premeditation in a sudden quarrel

What is the meaning of murder?

Murder is defined as whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death (or) causing bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of a person.